The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on February 20, 2004 · Page 91
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 91

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Friday, February 20, 2004
Page 91
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ET_E_37_E37_LA_1_02-20-04_fr_1_CMYK 2004:02:19:15:04:39 TELEVISION&RADIO FRIDAY,FEBRUARY20,2004 E37 LOSANGELESTIMES 4193904 0209 A JOURNEYTO ‘ C OLD M OUNTAIN ’ A JOURNEYTO ‘ C OLD M OUNTAIN ’ This weekend take a look inside ‘ColdMountain’, starring Academy Award ® Nominees Jude Law and Renée Zellweger . JUDE LAWNICOLE KIDMANRENÉE ZELLWEGER JUDE LAWNICOLE KIDMANRENÉE ZELLWEGER FROM ACADEMY AWARD ® -WINNING WRITER &DIRECTOR ANTHONY MINGHELLA COLD MOUNTAIN COLD MOUNTAIN COLD MOUNTAIN GOLDENGLOBEAWARDS BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS R ENÉE Z ELLWEGER WINNER T OMORROW Bravo at 11:15 AM S UNDA Y A&E at 11:00 AM WINNER WINNER Prime-Time TV Rankings Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Feb. 9-15) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 272.04 million potential viewers in the U.S. age 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions. Program Network View- ersProgram Network Viewers 1 CSICBS30.94 2 American Idol (Tue.)FOX26.18 3 FriendsNBC25.90 4 American Idol (Wed.)FOX24.46 5 Survivor: All-StarsCBS22.45 --------------------------------------------6 ERNBC21.95 7 CSI: MiamiCBS21.76 8 Without a TraceCBS20.12 9 The ApprenticeNBC18.47 10 Fear FactorNBC17.87 --------------------------------------------11 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS17.58 12 Cold CaseCBS17.33 13 Law & OrderNBC16.96 Two and a Half MenCBS16.96 15 60 MinutesCBS15.01 --------------------------------------------16 “It Must Be Love”CBS14.54 17 Big Fat Obnoxious FiancéFOX13.83 18 “Shrek”NBC13.44 19 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC13.30 20 Navy NCISCBS13.18 --------------------------------------------21 Law & Order: SVUNBC12.89 22 Average Joe: HawaiiNBC12.38 23 Still StandingCBS12.34 24 That ’70s ShowFOX12.29 King of Queens (9:30 p.m.) CBS12.29 --------------------------------------------26 Las VegasNBC12.05 27 King of QueensCBS11.89 28 The West WingNBC11.64 29 Yes, DearCBS11.56 30 Judging AmyCBS11.46 --------------------------------------------31 The O.C.FOX11.42 32 JAGCBS11.37 33 The BacheloretteABC11.28 CSI: Miami (Fri.)CBS11.28 35 NYPD BlueABC11.11 --------------------------------------------36 Dateline NBC (Fri.)NBC11.08 37 ScrubsNBC11.04 38 Extreme Makeover: Home Ed. ABC10.95 39 Joan of ArcadiaCBS10.88 40 Will & GraceNBC10.84 --------------------------------------------41 American DreamsNBC10.46 42 60 Minutes IICBS10.37 43 48 Hours InvestigatesCBS10.25 44 The GuardianCBS10.18 45 My Wife and KidsABC10.01 --------------------------------------------46 24FOX9.97 47 AliasABC9.54 48 According to JimABC9.44 49 The SimpsonsFOX9.43 50 Third WatchNBC9.29 --------------------------------------------51 America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC9.12 52 The DistrictCBS8.93 53 20/20 (Fri.)ABC8.75 54 HackCBS8.73 55 Friends (Tue.)NBC8.69 --------------------------------------------- CopsFOX8.69 57 The PracticeABC8.62 58 Less Than PerfectABC8.52 59 Celebrity Mole YucatanABC8.49 60 “The Princess Diaries”ABC8.46 --------------------------------------------61 Star SearchCBS8.38 62 Law & Order: SVU (Sat.)NBC8.34 63 Hope & FaithABC7.95 64 Primetime ThursdayABC7.85 65 8 Simple Rules ...ABC7.74 --------------------------------------------66 Extreme Makeover (Thu., 9 p.m.) ABC7.68 67 Malcolm in the MiddleFOX7.61 68 Life With BonnieABC7.50 69 The Apprentice (Wed.)NBC7.36 70 George LopezABC7.27 --------------------------------------------71 America’s Next Top Model 2 UPN7.13 72 Bernie Mac ShowFOX7.03 73 It’s All RelativeABC6.68 74 That ’70s Show (Mon., 8:30 p.m.) FOX6.65 75 “The Mummy Returns”ABC6.64 --------------------------------------------76 That ’70s Show (Mon., 8 p.m.) FOX6.56 77 Law & Order (Sat.)NBC6.52 78 Married to the KellysABC6.48 79 Extreme Makeover (Thu., 8 p.m.) ABC6.33 80 “Charlie Brown Valentine” ABC6.27 --------------------------------------------81 7th HeavenWB6.11 82 EverwoodWB6.07 83 I’m With HerABC5.81 84 WWE Smackdown!UPN5.35 85 Arrested DevelopmentFOX5.21 --------------------------------------------86 SmallvilleWB5.01 87 King of the HillFOX4.84 88 Oliver BeeneFOX4.78 89 Gilmore GirlsWB4.56 90 Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé (Thu.) FOX4.55 --------------------------------------------91 RebaWB4.48 92 Tru CallingFOX4.30 93 Surreal LifeWB4.27 94 WhoopiNBC4.11 95 “Celebrity Spelling Bee”FOX4.10 --------------------------------------------96 CharmedWB4.08 97 One Tree HillWB4.00 98 EnterpriseUPN3.95 99 GirlfriendsUPN3.82 100 The Tracy Morgan ShowNBC3.76 --------------------------------------------101 EveUPN3.69 102 AngelWB3.64 103 “National Geographic: Animal Attractions” FOX3.59 104 Half and HalfUPN3.52 105 Steve Harvey’s Big TimeWB3.24 --------------------------------------------106 All of UsUPN3.16 107 The ParkersUPN3.12 108 Grounded for LifeWB3.02 109 “Shaft”UPN3.01 110 What I Like About YouWB2.97 --------------------------------------------111 One on OneUPN2.76 112 All About the AndersonsWB2.65 113 America’s Next Top Model 2 (Wed.) UPN2.64 114 Smallville: BeginningsWB2.36 115 Like FamilyWB2.34 --------------------------------------------116 Surreal Life (Thu.)WB2.20 Network averages Here is the number of viewers (in millions) that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season. Network Last week Season to date CBS14.2413.79 -------------------------------------------- NBC12.5910.88 -------------------------------------------- FOX9.329.85 -------------------------------------------- ABC8.319.37 -------------------------------------------- UPN4.053.50 -------------------------------------------- WB3.983.79 NEW YORK — Tanks filled with tarantulas and swarming rats on “Fear Factor” were a winning formula for NBC, which had its best ratings week of the year in the demographic it cares about. “Fear Factor” slipped into Nielsen Media Research’s top 10 last week with 17.9 million viewers. Next week’s tally will be even better: Preliminary ratings showed Monday’s conclusion of its couples competition had a series-best 18.6 million viewers. The movie “Shrek” on Sunday also boosted NBC’s ratings on a night when it normally has problems. Last week gave NBC its highest ratings of the season among the 18- to49-year-old viewers craved by advertisers—andthe only group NBC executives profess to care about—and the net- work’swidest margin of victory. It was also a milestone week for producer Jerry Bruckheimer: Three of his CBS shows — “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Without a Trace” and “Cold Case” — had their most-watched episodes ever. “CSI” was the week’s most popular show overall, with 30.9 million viewers. Last week’s ratings proved one thing to ABC: Viewers like home redesigns more than people redesigns. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” was seen by 10.9 million people Sunday, while “Extreme Makeover” had 7.7 million viewers Thursday. For the week, CBS averaged 14.2 million viewers in prime time, NBC 12.6 million, Fox 9.3 million, ABC 8.3 million, UPN 4.1 million and the WB 4 million. NBC’s “Nightly News” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 10.9 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 10.4 million and the “CBS Evening News” 8.3 million. From Associated Press NBC hikes ratings with key viewers prepare a small child for its sick pet’s impending demise — experiencing a bad case of ender’s remorse? Fans have been mourning and girding themselves for the end. Despite often clumsy dialogue and radical departures from reality, the show’s writers turned out arguably the only television series in recent memory to treat modern romance in any sort of true-to-life way. And there is some not inconsiderable pleasure in the wallowing. Has this anguish been in vain? Thing of it this way: Once your beloved pet is in the ground, you don’t want to feel it rubbing against your leg under the kitchen table, thoughnone of this should stop millions from storming the gates of the local multiplex the instant the movie hits the screen. King could write a puppet show starring Carrie’s shoe collection and, no matter how many groan-inducing puns it contained, tickets would sell like battery-powered space heaters on a mission to Mt. Everest. Asurprising number of my own friends have confessed to spending a disproportionate amount of time thinking about the end. What will happen to Carrie? How will the writers decide? Will they satisfy the romantic fantasies they’ve stoked for six seasons, or dash them, as they have also done, consistently and simultaneously? “Sex and the City” began six seasons ago as a campy existential treatise on the death of romantic love. Unlike most comedies, the show never let go of that thread. Even as the life- stylesthe characters led, their wardrobes and their personality traitsremained outside the realm of the realistic, the series held to the kind of emotional honesty that usually makes TV turn away. It uncovered a depth in the characters and their stories that were not even hinted at in the beginning. It was as if the clothes, the bars, the parties were the candy that came with the spinach. As the seasons wore on, “Sex and the City” started to look more like a Chekhov play wrapped in a fashion magazine. The characters, which began as single-trait caricatures, deepened as time went on, ultimately avoiding the fate of so many long-running sitcom characters, which tend to migrate in the opposite direction. As sitcoms like “Friends” and “Frasier” ap- proachthe end, their characters have started to seem as if they are rooting around desperately for something to do. “Sex and the City,” on the other hand, has never avoided the consequences of its characters’ past actions. The past haunts them around every corner. The show has remained staunchly, stubbornly true to this principle — so much that I think it has used the “Carrie never wears the same outfit twice” trick as a sop. In keeping with this principle, King announced last year that viewers should not expect a Brady Bunch-style quadruple wedding in Central Park. Yet two of the characters were quietly and serenely married off in the manner of demure Jane Austen heroines, and a third, the confirmed bach- elorette Samantha, entered a serious, long-term relationship. This is, I suspect, what is making viewers nervous. Carrie —the show’s own Elizabeth Ben- nett — meanwhile, has suffered three, possibly four, crushing disappointments in quick succession, and nobody is really sure how many more she — or we — can take. Had the series continued, you might half expect her apartment to suffer a locust infestation. Whether or not the writers want to take a stand, fans of the show want to know, and they want to know this Sunday: Is there a love god or not? In the penultimate episode last Sunday, a fairy-princess Carrie put on an enormous feathered gown to await her prince, who showed up too late. The garment —which would not have fit into any suitcase on Earth, and which could have funded the next mission to Mars — finally sent the series into full fairy-tale mode. Like any fairy tale worth its salt, “Sex and the City” has always had a dark underside that not even a fairy-tale ending can undo. The abductions, the apple-induced comas, the indentured servitude, the abusive stepparents, won’t be undone by the ending. But an ending is required, even for those who don’t love it anymore. It just better not be a Brady Bunch movie in Central Park. Craig Blankenhorn AN AMERICAN IN PARIS: Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie left New York for Paris. Where does that leave fans? Will the other shoe drop? [ ‘Sex,’ from Page E1 ] Look for the Crossword every day in Calendar, including Calendar Part II on Sundays and Calendar's Comics Plus pages on Thursdays. more more Puzzling 02ED123 By Maria Elena Fernandez Times Staff Writer The “Sex and the City” financial and fan-favorite juggernaut won’t be ending when the series concludes its six-season run Sunday. Starting in June, HBO’s trend-setting series will be shown twice a week on TBS. The entire series will be available on DVD soonand is coming to broadcast TV in September 2005. And now a big-screen feature seems to be in the works. That is all welcome news for the show’s loyal fans, who have been loading Internet message boards with their laments, nostalgia and denial regarding the HBO original comedy’s ending on Sunday. Andfans can proclaim which of the four main characters they most relate to with new tank tops available at that state“I’m a Carrie,” “I’m a Miranda,” “I’m a Samantha,” or “I’m a Charlotte.” More than 6 million viewers watched last Sunday’s episode, the first part of a cliffhanger finale that left viewers wondering whether Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie will stay in Paris with her new boyfriend, reunite with her ex-lover “Big” or return to her best friends in Manhattan. “This is probably the most contemporary, cutting-edge comedy in a long, long time and will bring a new contemporary measure to the network,” said Steve Koonin, chief operating officer for TBS and TNT. “Sex and the City” will begin airing on TBS on June 15 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will remain in its 30-minute format, Koonin said. By airing on TBS, the show will be seen in 70 million more homes, he added. The show will go into broadcast syndication in September 2005, according to an HBO representative. With $66 million in DVD sales for its first five seasons, “Sex and the City” is second only to “The Sopranos” in HBO’s video market, according to Adams Media Research and an HBO spokesperson. Old episodes are one thing, but fans might be most interested in the news that the show’s executive producer and current guiding force Michael Patrick King is writing the script for a possible “Sex and the City” feature film. No deals have been signed,but a spokesperson for Parker said the actress “is definitely interested in being a part of that.” The ‘Sex’ series ends, but the show goes on

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